Dental implants to replace missing teeth
In the past, tooth loss meant the choice between two sub-optimal alternatives: an uncomfortable and problematic denture or damage to adjacent teeth to make a bridge. However, today’s advances in dental implant, bone grafting, and rehabilitation technologies and materials have made replacing teeth with lifelike restorations more accessible than ever. Dental implants are titanium screws inserted into the jawbone to support individual or linked porcelain crowns or hybrid prostheses. Dental implants help the patient not only replace missing teeth, but also arrest bone loss and recover and/or maintain his or her facial profile.
Dental Implants Guided by 3D CT Scan
The success of dental implants as a tooth restorative technique is directly related to proper patient evaluation and comprehensive treatment planning. Smiles Peru incorporates computerized tomographic three-dimensional imaging (CT Scan) to improve dental implant planning and surgical execution. A 3D CT scan shows the clinician exact details on amount and density of bone in all planes. Together with computer software, a CT scan allows for the virtual placement of implants, helping the surgeon determine not only which size implants will work best for the individual case, but also exactly where and at what angle the implants should best be placed, while taking into account the final definitive restoration. The use of CT imaging, together with modern bone grafting techniques and implant technology has liberated patients with significant bone loss from being relegated to choosing between only dental bridges or removable dentures to replace missing teeth.
Second Phase: Dental Implant Rehabilitation
The second stage of a dental implant procedure (generally four to six months after the original implant procedure) is the placement of the final crowns and/or bridges or dental implant supported hybrid prosthesis. The second phase takes place four (for lower jawbone implants to six months (for upper jawbone implants) after the original surgery, allowing time for the implant to ossify with the bone. As with all procedures at Smiles Peru, the implant rehabilitation is done by a specialist, who will have helped plan the placement of the implant/s during the original surgery to ensure the best possible final result.
Two main varieties of implant rehabilitation exist:
- Porcelain Teeth on Implants
- Dental Implant Supported Fixed or Removable Dentures
Porcelain Teeth on Implants are the most natural and most like real teeth. They do not rest on the gum tissue; they appear most lifelike, provide facial support and are definitively screwed or cemented into place. Porcelain teeth on implants can be one tooth per implant or multiple teeth on multiple implants in the case of bridges. Individual crowns are used to replace one or sometimes two adjacent missing teeth with crowns that are not linked together. These individual implant crowns can often be finished in a single visit with CEREC CAD/CAM digital technology.
Dental implant supported fixed bridges are used when implants support more than one replacement tooth, which are linked together for additional support. These may be removable by your dentist for cleaning.
Please see our all on four implants page for information about hybrid prostheses, fixed and removable dentures. The video demonstrates the CAD/CAM software used to design the hybrid prosthesis dental implant rehabilitation option at Smiles Peru.
Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions:
Why Smiles Peru for my dental implants?
Using bone grafting and all on four and all on six implant techniques, our clinic has successfully completed many complex cases involving where patients were told they did not have sufficient bone for dental implants. Our rehabilitation specialist consults with the implant surgeon before, during, and after the surgery to help determine the best location for the dental implants, keeping in mind the desired final result. For patients needing a full arch, we use CAD/CAM software to design hybrid prosthesis for fixed dentures in all-on-six or all-on-four cases. All procedures are furthermore supervised and done in concert with our clinic director, providing an additional level of quality control. Please see our dental implants case studies page for examples of successful dental implant cases, as well as our testimonials and reviews page. Additionally, Smiles Peru’s corporate apartments provide a convenient and comfortable setting for patient convalescence.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder surgically inserted into the bone in order to replace the roots of a missing tooth.
What are the advantages?
Extracted teeth cause instability in the jawbone; implants stabilize the jawbone and allow for new teeth, fusing with the mandible and providing support for the crowns and/or bridges placed over the implants. The supported crowns and bridges do not move around in the mouth, resulting in improved mastication and speaking. This non-invasive method has the advantage of not damaging adjacent teeth.
Dental implants also have the advantage of preventing further bone loss in the jaw, preserving the shape and symmetry of your face. Bones are like muscles in the sense that if they are not used, they decay. For this reason, if you are considering a dental implant we recommend undergoing the procedure at our Lima dental clinic without undue delay.
How long does it take?
The procedure generally takes three days. On the first day, we will perform your dental and medical examinations and take x-rays and plan the patient’s case with our team. On the second day, the surgery takes place. On the third day, the provisional prosthesis is placed and final x-rays are taken.
After three to six months, the bone will have ossified with the implant and the patient will be ready to receive the final crowns and/or bridges. This phase takes a further four days on average.
Who is a good candidate?
In general, anyone missing at least one tooth and healthy enough to undergo routine dental treatment is likely to be able to undergo the procedure. However, there are some medical conditions that warrant special consideration: certain chronic diseases, heavy smoking or alcohol abuse may contraindicate dental implants.
If you already wear dentures but are psychologically uncomfortable with them or find them physically difficult, you should strongly consider implants. One is never too old for the procedure. However, keep in mind the patient will need to have the patience to wait three to twelve months for the entire dental implant process to be completed.
What if I have been told I lack adequate bone to support implants?
Fortunately, our implant surgeon has a great deal of experience with difficult implant cases. Combining the use of the 3D CT scan, the variety of different implant sizes available today, and the use of sinus lifts and bone grafts in the form of bone blocks or granular bone, our implant surgeon successfully places implants in the most difficult of cases.
Do dental implants ever fail?
Yes, but fortunately very infrequently. Failure rates vary depending on the site in the mouth, whether they are placed into natural or grafted bone and whether the patient smokes. The overall success rates in natural bone is 95%, though this falls to between 85 and 90% in grafted bone. If a patient smokes it has been shown that they are statistically two and a half times more likely to have an implant fail than a non-smoker. A dental implant surgery is considered 100% safe, and the patient should have every expectation that it will last a lifetime if properly cared for. Each of our procedures is 100% guaranteed.
What are the costs?
Many people assume dental implant treatment is more expensive than alternative methods of tooth replacement. While the initial cost outlay may be more, in reality, implants are more cost effective over time than other methods of tooth replacement. Other treatments often require extensive repairs, replacements, and procedures to preserve the integrity of facial structures and prevent additional tooth loss compared to dental implants.
In other words, for those that do not choose teeth replacement with dental implants, additional procedures will probably be necessary in the future to treat the teeth that were cut down, repair the resulting bone defects, or replace the initial bridge. Please contact us with your questions.